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THOMPSON'S POSSIBLE GAMING INTEREST DRAWS FIRE
Published March 20, 1996
Georgetown men's basketball coach John Thompson's application for a Nevada gaming license was the focus of a report on ABC's "World News Tonight." The license would allow Thompson to purchase 10% of the company that operates slot machines at Las Vegas' McCarran Airport -- a venture which ABC said could net Thompson over $300,000 per year. ABC's Armen Keteyian said the NCAA is concerned because Thompson's would-be partner, Michael Gaughan, is the owner of Las Vegas casino Barbary Coast, as well as the father of Georgetown walk-on Brendan Gaughan. NCAA Exec Dir Cedric Dempsey: "If your team competes and doesn't play to the caliber that it's capable of playing, there's going to be the questions about whether or not the game had been fixed. It just opens up a tremendous suspicion that is not necessary." Keteyian noted Thompson has defended the deal as ethical because he would only make money from slots and that NCAA rules only prohibit coaches and athletes from "knowingly providing information to gamblers" (ABC, 3/19). The WASHINGTON POST reports attorneys for Thompson have asked the NCAA to decide whether the application violates any NCAA rules. Gaughan placed Thompson's likely return at about $10,000 a year (Mark Asher, WASHINGTON POST, 3/20).